Naval Cemetery Landscape in Brooklyn, New York

The landscape is ringed by wooden walkways.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a long and storied history as a place where great ships such as the USS Monitor and the USS Maine were designed. Traces of its industrial past are evident, from the dry docks to the various factories and storehouses. But the area also housed a naval hospital that contained its own cemetery from 1831 to 1910. As many as 2,000 men were laid to rest there during this time period. 

The cemetery was shut down once it filled up, and in 1926, it was decommissioned by the U.S. Congress and 987 bodies were reinterred at Cypress Hill Cemetery, on the border between Brooklyn and Queens. The land remained fallow for the next 90 years, as the buildings nearby transitioned from the hospital to a naval receiving annex and other uses until 1989. 

During a survey in 1997, it was discovered that multiple human remains were still buried under the soil, with their identities impossible to determine. The decision was made to restore the land into a wild landscape populated with native flora and fauna, as to not disturb the bones. In 2016, the land opened back up as the Naval Cemetery Landscape, a place for birds and bees to nest and pollinate.

Posted by Contributor